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    Distance Learning During Covid-19

    Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School for Distance Learning During COVID-19

    Supporting school staff in promoting the wellbeing of students, families, and colleagues during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Note: These recommendations might not fi t all school contexts, so adapt them to meet your needs.

    Start by Taking Care of You

    • We are starting another week of disruption to normal classroom routines and life, as we knew it.
    • It is natural for the disruption and uncertainty to cause high rates of anxiety and stress.
    • Many are managing multiple roles including online teaching, parenting, caregiving, and more.
    • Mental health concerns are on the rise. Know that you are not alone and taking care of your wellbeing is crucial.
    Students studying together

    Maintaining Your Health and Wellness

    • Keep a regular schedule: Daily routines are key, so set a schedule. Try to achieve a set goal each day while staying fl exibility during these times.
    • Stay connected with friends and family: Check in with friends, family, and those you have not spoken with for a while. It is a great time to reconnect.
    • Stay informed from reliable sources: Follow the latest recommendations from the CDC and other reliable sources on how to protect yourself and your family.
    • Get creative and share with co-workers and students: Share creative ideas and tips on what is working for you in selfcare and in working students. Encourage co-workers and friends to do the same.
    • Set boundaries on work schedule: The lines between home and work can be easily blurred, so set limits and do your best to stick to them.
    • Get fresh air and exercise: Get fresh air and sunshine by walking around the block or sitting outside while maintaining a safe distance from others. There are plenty of free online trainers to exercise at home.
    • Unplug from social media: Avoid continuous exposure to news, media, and social media that may trigger or elevate anxiety, stress, or panic. Stay informed but limit media consumption.
    • Recognize warning signs and triggers for yourself: Reach out to your support system if you are moving away from your typical behavior, feelings, or emotions. Our mental health is now vulnerable. Also, listen to co-workers or supervisors if they notice changes in you.

    For more information on self-care strategies including a suggested work calendar and other tips for working remotely during COVID-19, visit the APA Foundation’s Center of Workplace Mental Health.

    Using Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School to Help Your Students

    Young people are in a critical period for social and emotional development. They too are experiencing the disruption of normal classroom routines, peer social interaction at school, and other life challenges, which are likely impacting their emotional and mental health.

    School staff that connect remotely with students are well positioned to recognize abrupt changes in behaviors, social interactions, and emotions. They can also be alert to other supports students might need.

    Student studying alone

    Though observing students is challenging outside of the physical school setting, working with them remotely offers the chance to promote the importance of taking care of their mental health.

    Ensuring the Health and Wellbeing of Students

    You can identify emerging behavioral health conditions and offer student support by using Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School.

    • Notice: Look for changes in a student’s behavior. This may include changes in baseline behavior, putting oneself or others in harm’s way, and extreme disengagement or isolation.
    • Talk: To facilitate a conversation, use open-ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summarizing to show that you care and are interested in the wellbeing of the student.
    • Act: Take appropriately action, within your roles, to connect students with support services. Check with your school on the availability of the support services.

    Adapting Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School to Help Your Students

    Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School is being adapted to allow school staff to continue supporting students who are learning remotely. This allows you to NOTICE when a student is moving away from their typical behavior and showing disruptive or withdrawn behaviors. Check in on students to those who may be struggling.

    Here are some suggestions on how to exercise Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School for distance learning to help your students:

    Notice: Follow your school leadership guidance on how to appropriately use these engagement tools and adjust them if needed.

    • Check-In via Email
      • Include the importance of their emotional health and prompt
      • Share available support services
      • Blind copy students to protect their privacy
    • Check-In with Students through Virtual Class
      • Notice student engagement interaction, and absences during virtual gatherings
      • Notice changes that are not typical and follow up on them
    • Connect with Parents to Check-In on Students
      • Reach out to parents or guardian directly if you are concerned about a student
      • Check on how the family is doing given challenges
      • Build partnerships with the family
    • Use Student Check-In Forms
      • Create a simple check-in form for students to share how they are doing 
      • Make it quick and easy to use
      • Tailor the form for you school or class

    Talk: Trust your gut and either talk with a student you are concerned about or with your support team when you notice changes.

    • Set-Up Time to Chat 
      • Include the importance of their emotional health and prompt
      • Share available support services
      • Blind copy students to protect their privacy
    • Check-In with Students through Virtual Class
      • Notice student engagement interaction, and absences during virtual gatherings
      • Notice changes that are not typical and follow up on them

    Act: Taking an action may depend on your school resources. Be sure to follow your school procedures.

    • A Person in Danger or in Crisis 
      • Follow your school crisis protocols or call 9-1-1. Keep a student in the conversation, if possible. Ensure that the student is still in a sense “safe” and provide resources to connect them to care. Be sure to take care of yourself after addressing a crisis.
    • When Referral is Needed 
      • Share available support services with the student. If you can, set up a joint meeting with the support services team, the student, and yourself. Ask the student if they want you to stay in the meeting.
    • When Referral is Not Needed
      • Leave the door open and remind the student that you are there to help. Check in after a few days to see how things are going and to show that you care. Continue to check in with student.

    Putting Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School to Help Your Students

    This resource emphasizes the need to check in with students to help notice early warning signs, and to connect those in need with the appropriate support services.

    As you use Notice. Talk. Act.™ @ School resources to support students, be sure to coordinate with the directives of your administration and supervisors.

    Now more then ever, you play a crucial role in early identification. Pandemic disruptions are impacting the mental health and wellbeing of many. You can make a positive difference in their lives of students in need of emotional and mental health support.

    Student talking with teacher

    Remember to take care of yourself. We are all in this together.

    Download The Notice. Talk. Act.® at School Distance Learning Infographic (.pdf)